CP+B Attacks Discrimination in L.A. County

LOS ANGELES Crispin Porter + Bogusky has launched its first work for Rock the Vote and the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations, the shop said.

The pro bono effort from the MDC Partners agency in Venice, Calif., includes one 30-second TV spot and wild postings for the organizations in Los Angeles. While it falls under the banner of Rock the Vote, the campaign does not address voting but instead focuses on discrimination.

The TV spot shows cars in a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant. When one man with a foreign accent gives his order, the worker asks, “Are you speaking English, sir?” The man says that he speaks Spanish and the restaurant employee responds, “Then we’re gonna have to charge you double, sir.” A sign by the menu reads, “Customers with foreign accents will be charged double.” When one of the customers classifies it as discrimination, the order-taker says, “Hey, I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, I just work here.” The spot concludes with the line, “Where will it end?” and points viewers to a Web site, www.zerohour.com. Zero hour represents “the countdown to the day none of this stuff exists anymore,” said CP+B creative director Tim Roper.

The effort primarily targets teens. “We’re reaching out to a segment we call ‘awareness apathetics’—people who are aware that discrimination exists” and are willing to tolerate it, said Roper. “We want to get you to not tolerate these realities of everyday life.” While the spot shows “an extreme re-creation” of discrimination, it is meant to draw attention to subtler forms, he said.

The ad is airing on KTLA TV in Los Angeles. The shop is currently developing another TV spot, expected to be released early next year, which also addresses discrimination, Roper said.

In addition, CP+B created three wild postings, which will appear in Los Angeles County. One shows a man looking with distaste at two men holding hands. Another depicts a woman clutching her purse as she walks by a tattooed man, while a third execution has an Asian shop owner scrutinizing an African American customer. The zero hour symbol is placed at eye level to represent the “unspoken discrimination taking place,” said Roper.